Who said: "A few books well chosen, and well made use of, will be more profitable than a great confused Alexandrian library."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"A few books well chosen, and well made use of, will be more profitable than a great confused Alexandrian library" - Thomas Fuller Introductio ad Prudentiam

Thomas FullerDr Thomas Fuller M.D (1654-1734) was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge and practiced medicine in Sevenoaks, Kent. He is remembered for his two compilations of proverbs, Introductio ad Sapientiam and Introductio ad Prudentiam, and for the later Gnomologia - a massive compilation of proverbs and aphorisms. It is said that Benjamin Franklin used Gnomologia as a source for some of the sayings in Poor Richard's Almanac.

Gnomology is not, as some might think, the study of popular garden ornaments, nor for that matter is it the study of the diminutive mythical spirits which apparently inspire the former. A gnomologist is one who collects maxims, proverbs or aphorisms which, individually, can be referred to as gnomes – from the Greek for thought or judgment.

During medieval times it became popular for the learned to put together collections of sayings and memorable thoughts – the publishing of these reached its height during the Renaissance when books of proverbs became popular. In fact, gnomology has remained popular to this day - the ubiquitous pocket diaries and calendars filled with inspirational sayings found so widely these days, whether biblical quotes or Dilbert cartoons, all trace their roots to these first gnomologies.


Confusingly, there are two notable, quotable Thomas Fullers: The Thomas Fuller quoted above (1654-1734); and Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), an English preacher, historian, and scholar.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Prophet
    by Michael Koryta
    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a ...
  • Book Jacket: Dog Flowers
    Dog Flowers
    by Danielle Geller
    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment,...
  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Narrowboat Summer
    by Anne Youngson

    From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

Harvard is the storehouse of knowledge because the freshmen bring so much in and the graduates take so little out.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.